06-21-2018  8:07 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Fire forces evacuation of some residents in Jefferson County

CULVER, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in Jefferson County have told residents in the Three Rivers community to leave immediately as winds whipped a fire burning in central Oregon.Sheriff Jim Adkins issued an evacuation order Thursday night for the private development near Lake Billy Chinook. The...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

Infant found at Seattle encampment in protective custody

SEATTLE (AP) — A 5-month-old infant found at a Seattle homeless encampment is in protective custody as police investigate child neglect.Seattle Police said Thursday on its blog that the child was removed in late May from an unsanctioned homeless encampment where people were reportedly using...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury added federal civil rights and hate crimes violations to the charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis, prosecutors announced Thursday.The new five-count indictment names Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Koko the gorilla, whose remarkable sign-language ability and motherly attachment to pet cats helped change the world's views about the intelligence of animals and their capacity for empathy, has died at 46.Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

Demi Lovato sings about addiction struggles on 'Sober'

NEW YORK (AP) — Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety in March, but her new song indicates she may no longer be sober.The pop star released "Sober " on YouTube on Thursday, singing lyrics like: "Momma, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore/And daddy please forgive me for the drinks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

No. 1 Sun: Phoenix takes Ayton; Trae Young, Doncic swapped

NEW YORK (AP) — The Phoenix Suns stayed close to home for their first No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks...

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and...

ABC orders 'Roseanne' spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC, which canceled its "Roseanne" revival over its star's racist tweet, said Thursday...

Merkel pledges 0 million loan for troubled Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a 0 million loan to troubled...

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its...

Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States attacked first, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from around the...

In this Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, photo, Nancy Harvey, owner of Lil' Nancy's Primary Schoolhouse, left, cares for a toddler at her home, which has she has converted into a child care center, in Oakland, Calif. Most U.S. households are heading for a worse lifestyle in retirement than they had while they were working, because they simply aren’t saving enough, experts say. Harvey, who has less than $2,000 saved despite her decades of work, plans to continue with real-estate classes in hopes that it can provide a second job. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
STAN CHOE, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The American dream of a blissful retirement, free of financial worries, is dying.

Most U.S. households are heading for a worse lifestyle in retirement than they had while they were working, because they simply aren't saving enough, experts say. Thirty-five percent of households in their prime earning years or later have nothing saved in a retirement account and no access to a traditional pension, according to an AP analysis of savings data from the Federal Reserve.

Among households that do have some savings, the typical amount is $73,200. That's about 15 months of the median household's income.

One group doesn't have to worry as much: the richest 10 percent of households. They typically have more than $413,000 in a retirement account, according to the analysis of the Fed's latest data, which is from 2013.

The rest of us look a lot more like Nancy Harvey, a 54-year-old child-care center owner in Oakland, California, who has less than $2,000 saved. Her plan, as of now, is to continue with real-estate classes in hopes that it can provide a second job.

"I have to work and pray and hope my health continues to remain good so that I can continue to work," she says. "I still have a mortgage and all the insurance that goes along with that, and I have to pay payroll for my employees, which is really important to me. I can honestly say I'm frightened about the future."

Harvey isn't alone, as the gap widens between the few households who don't have to worry about a comfortable retirement and everyone else. The anxiety even stretches across political affiliations. Nearly equivalent percentages of Democrats and Republicans say they're not managing very well in retirement planning, a recent survey from Lincoln Financial found.

The looming crisis is the result of a system that's increasingly put workers in charge of saving for and managing their own retirement. Because the U.S. households at the top have reaped most of the income gains over the last decade — and because they have disproportionately more access to retirement plans to begin with — experts say the gap in retirement savings is only growing wider. They're expecting to see more elderly Americans working longer, moving in with their kids and tapping assistance programs.

"Only the privileged have access to a secure retirement," says Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist at the New School for Social Research.

THE INCOME DIVIDE

It's easier to save when you're making more money, and the vast majority of the income gains have gone to the top in recent years.

The top 10 percent of U.S. households made more than $162,180 last year, up 6 percent from a decade earlier after adjusting for inflation. For middle-income Americans, incomes have barely stayed ahead of inflation. Lower-income households are making less than a decade ago.

The benefit of making more money goes beyond having more to save. Higher-income households also get a bigger after-tax benefit from putting money into a 401(k) or another tax-advantaged account.

With traditional pensions increasingly becoming extinct, it's grown even more important for Americans to save. Meanwhile, Social Security — the last line of defense for many retirement plans — is at risk of having enough money to pay only 79 percent of benefits, starting in 2034.

ACCESS TO PLANS

The death of the traditional pension means the burden is on us to save, and that's why access to 401(k) and other retirement plans is so important.

Most lower-income households will save when they have access to a retirement plan. The problem is that most don't get the opportunity.

Eighty percent of high-income working households have access to a 401(k) or similar defined-contribution plan, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. For low-income working households, it's just 35 percent.

The low retirement balances mean the majority of households — 52 percent — are at risk of having to cut their spending by more than 10 percent after entering retirement, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

"For an upper-middle class person, not being able to maintain their standard of living means fewer trips," says Alicia Munnell, the center's director. "But for lower-income people, it can really mean depriving themselves."

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

To help close the gap, states are trying their own measures. California recently passed a law requiring employers to automatically enroll their workers in a state-run program and deduct money from each paycheck.

Experts prefer a broader fix from the federal government but call the state programs an encouraging step. In the meantime, many workers are simply working longer.

David Tucker is 74 and still waking at 1:15 each morning to get to his job as a skycap at Reagan National Airport outside Washington, D.C.

He says he may consider retiring next year or cutting down to a few days per week. And what would he look forward to in retirement?

"I would like to feel what it's like to wake up and not go to work," he says. "For a while, that's all I would like to do. I wouldn't worry about anything else."

 

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EDITOR'S NOTE — This is part of Divided America, AP's ongoing exploration of the economic, social and political divisions in American society.

AP Data Journalist Angeliki Kastanis and AP Business Writers Joseph Pisani and Sarah Skidmore Sell contributed to this report.

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